You turn your back for just a second…


Exhibit 1

Exhibit #1 - authorities believe Grasshopper is just an innocent victim, in the wrong place at the wrong time...the usual suspects (both of them) are being lined up...

We had the twins for the weekend – it’s always fun but full-on and this is just a none-too-subtle reminder of how quickly they are growing up (literally)…the jar was only about one-third full when one of them swiped (the evidence is difficult to argue with) it off the kitchen bench after lunch. It was quite a good effort as they managed to keep most of the jam off themselves (something they refuse to do at actual meal times) and were only busted when the penny dropped for me that there was simply way too much jam around the house to have come from the jam on toast we had for lunch (with healthy stuff as well) in the lounge…

It’s a lesson that one can never become too complacent that little hands will not extend their reach, the guy you install as president of Afghanistan will not decide to go his own way, or that the service you dedicate 18 years to will not dump you like a hot and embarrassing potato…I refer here to the case of Royal Marine Sergeant  Mark Leader who was court martialed and dismissed, after 18 years of top quality military service five times decorated with campaign medals , after throwing a Wellington boot at a Taliban terrorist. The Taliban in question had been found burying an IED just 50 metres from base  where Leader had witnessed his best friend and two other mates blown up by an IED just prior to this.  There is more information available on the Facebook page established for this issue…

It’d be interesting to see the full facts of this case – perhaps there is way more to it that was has been reported to date – but this certainly seems to be yet another application of the perception that we, the good guys, can fight nice wars. Unfortunately the price of niceness is the blood of US and NATO soldiers…The opposite of ‘nice’ is not ‘brutal’ – it is ‘practical’ and ‘pragmatic’ – and this seems to be totally lost on British leaders who seem think this war (lower case) is simply an over-resourced exercise in flag-waving and a great gesture of unity with the US (which, after all, might be required to sail across the Atlantic and bail out the UK for a fourth time)…

Eon

I’ve just finished a great book, Greg Bear’s Eon, which is one of the main reasons that blog updates have dried up over the last few days. Carmen picked it up for me at the Sally Army shop in Hamilton for a dollar at the same time as she bought me The Star Trek yarn Garth of Izar…I must have read another Bear story in the dim dark past as I have always avoided his books for well over two decades but Eon really gripped me right from the start and I will probably have to go off and ferret out some others once the ‘have-to’ reading list gets a little shorter….

The fractal guy…

Benoit Mandelbrot’s The  (Mis)Behaviour of Markets was recommended to me as a fresh look at irregularity and uncertainty, and as such, a possible source for some out of the square illumination on the complex contemporary environment…I haven’t even got to the end of the preface and already I a. love it, b. have dredged out some really good material, and c. taken off on some wild tangential thoughts…once the employment situation becomes a little more stable, I think that this one will be a permanent addition to the library.

Kilcullen again…

The other recent tome that I have decided to add to the physical library is David Kilcullen’s The Accidental Guerrilla. I am speaking on doctrine, COIN and Kilcullen this Friday and have had to wait for the library to reloan me a copy to use as an aid for any parts of my review notes that I can’t, read or remember why I wrote what I did. Dr Kilcullen has secured a place for himself as one of the most influential figures of the last decade and as such is deserving of a place on the shelves in the study here at the Raurimu Centre for Thinking About Stuff (CTAS). He’s just released a new book but I think I’ll test read this from the library first as the abstracts for CounterInsurgency @ Oxford University Press and Small War Journal sounds a little too much like a rehash of previous works…

Ginga Ninja

Andrew Inwald released his 1/33 Yokosuka P1Y Ginga at Paper Models last week…and it surpasses even his Judy and Il-14…those who are into this sort of creative expression might want to download it just to see how it’s done…you can do that here at Paper Modelers although you will need to register and make one post on the forum to get to the downloads…

Yes, it's paper...!

In other paper news, Ken West of XB-70 Valkyrie and B-58 Hustler fame has announced the start of the design phase of a 1/32 Lockheed SR-71, although the exact model or models is still TBC e.g. A-12, YF-12A, D-21 drone carrier etc…

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